Do you ever get stuck on “Repeat” when it comes to miserable emotions or obsessive thoughts? How do you break free? Jesus! (Isn’t He the only answer?) A focus on Jesus helps us break free from overwhelming emotions and thoughts that can so easily entrap and disturb us. But sometimes it’s hard to find the path to the freedom that He promises.
I’ve been reading Boundaries for Your Soul, by Alison Cook and Kimberly Miller, in which these two gifted counselors guide readers through the process of finding rest for our souls. I never thought that my soul needed boundaries, but after reading this book, it does makes sense. The back cover says: “Boundaries for Your Soul shows you how to calm the chaos within. This groundbreaking approach will help you know what to do when you feel overwhelmed, understand your guilt, anxiety, sadness, and fear, welcome God into the troubling parts of your soul, and move from doubt and conflict to confidence and peace.”
This idea reminds me of Jesus’ invitation to find rest for your soul. In Matthew 11:28-30 He says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Rest for your soul is an inviting concept. But like the constant scratch of a needle stuck in the grove of a broken record, your thoughts or emotions can keep you from experiencing deep peace and rest. There is no music.
Yet it is your soul, guided by God’s Spirit, that can point you to freedom. You can find rest for your soul when you invite your Spirit-led self to show you what you need to keep, and what you need to redirect. So what is holding you back from experiencing rest for your soul? Is it an emotion like anger, hurt, or betrayal? Is it a thought that nothing will ever get better?
Ask yourself: “What good and hard lesson can I discover from this unwanted emotion or thought?” Then ask your soul to show you what’s keeping you from releasing your overwhelming burdens. Why are you so afraid to let go of something so troubling? Invite Jesus to guide, direct, and heal you.
This life is wearying and burdensome. Most of us attempt to overcome that reality through our own thoughts and emotional control. But there are times when we get to the end of ourselves. When we do, we find that Jesus is there.
He was there all along! He never abandons us when our burdens and weariness overwhelm us. Jesus knows that our lives are full of legitimate and harsh realities that create chaotic emotions and negative thoughts. He knows that we are weary and burdened. It doesn’t matter what it is that burdens or wearies us; the solution is the same. Today—right now!—take His yoke, learn from Him, and find rest for your soul.
Adapted and used with permission of the author, Dr. Debi Newman, www.teatimeforyoursoul.com, © 2018.